Essay about every?Rockefeller Drug Laws?

1544 Words7 Pages
“Rockefeller Drug Laws”

In May of 1973, New York’s Governor, Nelson Rockefeller, made a set of strict anti-drug laws for the state legislature. The purpose of these laws was to stop the drug abuse epidemic that was occurring in New York during the early 1970’s. It was the most severe law in the nation; the drug laws were to punish those who possessed and sold heavy amounts of narcotics like cocaine and heroine and to hold them in custody for the amount they possessed or sold. For example, if the person was caught with the possession of two or four ounces of drugs on them the minimum time in a federal prison would be 15 years to life, no matter what age (if the offender was of 15 years of age or older). Many
…show more content…
The prison business was getting more popular by the minute and even more expensive. The price to keep a drug offender in prison was more then doubled. The General Fund State Operations budget for New York State prisons went from 10% to 25% in a year (1982-83). This was more money then New York had ever spent for imprisonment of drug offenders. There were 8,880 drug offenders in NYS prisons under the Rockefeller Drug Laws in December of 1997 only. According to the Correctional Association of New York, it costs an estimated $265 million dollars to pay for these prisoners to be incarcerated. There was also an additional 12,102 drug offenders in NYS prisons under the Second Felony Offender Law, costing an estimated $360 million per year. In total there was an estimate of 22,670 drug offenders in the NYS prison system, showing a 33% of the total prison population. Compared to the estimate shown in 1980 when there was only 9%.
Not only is it becoming expensive to keep someone incarcerated, but also the population shown in these prisons is also outrageous. The effect that the laws have had on people was more towards minorities and women. Minorities were the biggest offenders in NYS prisons under the Rockefeller Drug Laws. The number of racial gaps had increased from having 33,000
Get Access